On a beautiful, quiet Tuesday evening people gathered at the At Rail Tent at Saratoga Race Course for the Visión event to celebrate the photography of Latino immigrants who document their everyday lives and present their photographs to share their experiences of living and working in Saratoga County. The black and white photographs with descriptions written in both Spanish and English provide unique prospective into the daily lives of these workers who sacrifice so much to come to this arear to work and to provide for their families.
Guests mingled with one another while looking at the 24 different framed photographs, many discussing which ones that they liked best, while enjoying wine and beer generously provided by Saratoga Eagle and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. Seen enjoying themselves at the event were Linda and Michael Toohey, Cathy and Elliott Masie, and Angelo and Kate Carbone, and former City of Saratoga Springs Mayor Ken Klotz and his wife Karen.
Anita Paley, Executive Director of Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, welcomed everyone and thanked the photographers and the members of the planning committee: Michelle Paquette-Deuel, Marcela Gaudin, Sue Koppi, Tanya Tobias-Tomis, and Susan Zucker. Michelle, the chair, of the event and who also served with Tanya as the Exhibit Jury Members, gave a moving speech about the photographers’ enthusiastic participation in the project that help to illustrate the stories of those who do so much quietly behind the scenes to enrich our lives. The ten photographers who participated in this year’s exhibit came from different areas throughout Mexico and Guatemala, Chile, United States, and Turkey.
First place prize was awarded to Mustafa Guclu for his photograph titled “Bubbly Lake George.” Ana Karen Cruz Gomez, a photographer who loves capturing the “good moments in life,” and took home second place prize, shared “It is a dream for us to come here. This is not an opportunity that I would have in my home country. Thank you very much!” Luis Martinez was awarded 3rd place for his photograph “Did someone say it’s time to rest?” In the audience watching as the awards were given out were Michael Billok, Maire Masterson, Cynthia Corbett, Holly Schwarz-Lawton, Matt Veitch, Paul Calhoun, Christianne Smith, Teddy Foster, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, and Kathleen Fyfe.
At the event there was a lovely tribute to Carole Moreau, a volunteer who passed away last year and had in the past worked closely with the photographers to write their bios. Her husband, Mark Moreau, and her friends Marcy Dreimiller, Samantha Bosshart, Trina Lucas and Natalie Sillery were all touched by the memorial.
Following the awards ceremony, Tropic Rhythm, a Latin-American bad, played fun music to keep the festive spirit of the event going as the sun started to set while people continued to nibble on the food provided by CenterPlate, The Saratoga Hilton, Three Vines, Freihofer’s, and others. This event would not be possible without the generous support of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, New York Racing Association, Norstar Development USA – Richard L. Higgins, PeroxyChem, and many, many others. For those who were unable to attend, notecards and matted prints of the photographs are available for purchase through Saratoga EOC, for more information visit www.saratogaeoc.org/vision/ or call (518) 288-3206.